RTTNews - The winning streak has hit three sessions for the Thai stock market, which has collected more than 20 points or 3 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand closed above support at 650 points, although now analysts are expecting a modest retreat from the market when it kicks off trade on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets provides little in the way of guidance as weakness among the financials and retail stocks is expected to be offset by gains among the oil and steel shares. The European markets finished on a positive note, while the U.S. markets ended little changed - and the Asian markets also are likely to trade in mixed fashion but may fall prey to profit taking following strong rallies on Monday.

The SET finished sharply higher on Monday, riding gains among the energy stocks, construction shares and financials.

For the day, the index climbed 8.57 points or 1.33 percent to close at 653.20 after trading between 650.67 and 657.98. Volume was 3.111 billion shares worth 21.934 billion baht. There were 255 gainers and 93 decliners, with 114 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the gainers, energy giant PTT was up 2.95 percent, while PTT Aromatics gained 2.50 percent, PTT Exploration and Production added 0.71 percent, coal producer Banpu was up 0.99 percent, Siam Cement gained 0.26 percent and Kasikornbank jumped 2.77 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is virtually flat with perhaps a touch of downside as stocks moved back to the downside over the course of the trading session on Monday, ending the day nearly unchanged after seeing some early strength. The major averages closed on opposite sides of the unchanged mark.

This morning, traders reacted to comments from a number of central bankers over the weekend at the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, indicating that interest rates are likely to remain fixed for some time despite some signs of economic stabilization. At the conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said, Economic activity appears to be leveling out, both in the United States and abroad. Bernanke also noted that the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.

However, the optimism was partly offset by comments from economist Nouriel Roubini, who said that he sees a big risk of a double recession in an article for the Financial Times. Roubini, who predicted the magnitude of the recent financial crisis, stated that the global economy might bottom out in the second half of the year and that the economies in the U.S and other European countries might witness anemic or below trend growth for at least a couple of years.

The pullback by the markets was also partly due to comments from Sun Trust (SIT) CEO James Wells, who said that financial institutions are likely to incur further losses amid the dismal condition of the commercial real estate market.

In other news, conflicting reports have led to speculation over the health of Bernard Madoff, perpetrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, who may be dying of cancer at a federal prison in North Carolina. However, prison officials have refuted the cancer claim that a number of media outlets reported earlier.

The major averages saw choppy movement in late session dealing, resulting in a mixed close to kick off the week. While the Dow closed up by 3.32 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 9,509.28, the NASDAQ slipped by 2.92 points or 0.1 percent to 2,017.98 and the S&P 500 fell by 0.56 or 0.1 percent to 1,025.57.

In economic news, Thailand's economy contracted 4.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, slower than a 7.1 percent drop in the first quarter, the country's National Economic and Social Development Board said Monday. Economists expected the economy to contract 5.1 percent. Compared to the previous quarter, the gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 2.3 percent in the second quarter, in line with economists' estimates and reversing a 1.8 percent fall in the first quarter.

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